Tuesday, November 29, 2022

A LITTLE BIT OF LUST by Author Shirley Goldberg **Review Tour** **Goddess Fish Promotions**

Notes from a Romantic's Heart is pleased to welcome back author Shirley Goldberg. Today we'll be taking a look at Shirley's new romantic comedy, A Little Bit of Lust, book 3 of her Starting Over series. You can find all the stops on Shirley's tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Also, don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a $30 gift card. The entry form is at the bottom of this post.

GENRE: Romantic Women's Fiction
Love-cynical Lucy Bernard delights in her independence. Baking, all things Instagram, the occasional fling, and most of all hanging out with best friends Deon Goldbloom and Phoebe Karis. But when Deon kisses Lucy at the beach on a chilly afternoon, the two friends jump into a lust-filled romantic weekend. So what’s with slotting her into "ignore" status afterward? Too embarrassed to confide in Phoebe, she silently buries the humiliation.

Deon Goldbloom is a widower who can’t move on after his wife's death. Is he a little crazy spending a sexy few days with Lucy and calling it the best time he’s had in four years? Yeah. Except blue Monday comes calling, and Deon isn’t ready for the guilt.

Lucy wonders how a smoochy weekend turns into a friends-with-benefits disaster. And Deon wonders if he’s made the biggest mistake of his life. Using all his nerdy charms, he launches a campaign to bring Lucy around. Maybe they can chart a course back to one another if Lucy will only forgive him.

Pre-Order on Amazon for December 7th delivery.
Also available on Apple and B&N

Deon and Lucy wandered through the store to the missy department, jammed with displays and sale racks. What to wear on her Marcus date? A dress or jeans? She could use Deon’s advice, but something told her he was in no mood for anything Marcus.

He stopped at a rounder of sleeveless, scoop neck tops in jewel colors. “Pink.” He chose a top from the rack. “This is you.”

She held it against her chest. “Good color for me?”

“That guy Steve was totally flirting.”

“You think? Should I go for it?” Casual tone with an ah-hah on the inside. Her spine tingled realizing Deon noticed their flirtation. And he was irked. He had no right. She’s the one who should be irked.

“Depends.” He frowned. “He’s an actor. How long’s he in town for?” His hand scraped his cheek. “I know you’re pissed at me. Ever since that weekend––”

“Me?” She flipped the price tag on the pink top and her eyebrows shot up in exaggerated surprise. Pissed at Deon? Sure, but she wouldn’t admit it, not to him. “You have good taste.”

“I’m sorry about––”

“Expensive good taste.” Whatever Deon felt he needed to say, she wasn’t revisiting old wounds.

“Lucy, don’t make me come over there.” An attempt at humor, followed by a hangdog look of regret. “Look, I want to talk to you about…can we talk later? At dinner?”

“Of course. Why wouldn’t we? We always talk at dinner.”

“You maintain price is no object,” Deon teased, deftly dropping the subject. “A good fit is everything, right?” He moved closer and cupped her chin. “I’m dead serious. About talking.”

She twisted away. So this is how he wants to play it. Seriously, a talk? After the Ignore thing, what more could he possibly say? She wasn’t sure she wanted dinner with Deon after all. “Did I say price is no object?” She pulled out a short black dress and danced it on the hanger. “This is cute.”

“Nice. You don’t wear much black. Try it on,” he urged. “Try them both on.”

In the dressing room, Lucy smiled in the mirror. Deon was acting ultra nice, like he had an agenda. Weird. Close dancing at O’Donahue’s and those long looks she’d caught him giving her in her kitchen a week ago. Mixed messages, definitely.

The pink top showed off her shoulders. At $118.00, it was no bargain, but why did everything have to be on sale? She wasn’t her mother, the ultimate bargain shopper. She wanted this sexy little top so Deon could picture her in it later. With Marcus.

The pink top has punctum.

The word came back to her, a surprise. Punctum, the word Deon used a while ago on the beach while they were taking photos. When he’d kissed her for the first time.

☆☆4 Stars☆☆

As with all the Shirley Goldberg books I've read, A Little Bit of Lust, had me laughing out loud. A wonderfully written story of friendship, discovery, and reinvention. I loved the relationship between Lucy, Deon, and Phoebe. It was fun, open, and (eventually) once Deon fessed up to his true feelings, honest.

I'm a sucker for friends-to-lovers romances, and this one definitely didn't disappoint. The banter between the main characters is witty and believeable, as is both their reluctance to take their friendship to the next level. All in all, a fun story that will please any fan of romantic women's fiction.

Shirley Goldberg is a writer, novelist, and former ESL and French teacher who’s lived in Paris, Crete, and Casablanca. She writes about men and women of a certain age starting over. Her website offers a humorous look into dating in mid-life, and her friends like to guess which stories are true. A Little Bit of Lust is her third book in the series Starting Over, although all her books are standalone. Her character believes you should never leave home without your sense of humor and Shirley agrees.

Shirley Goldberg will be awarding a $30 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thank you for stopping by!


Friday, November 18, 2022

FILM BLUE by Author Patricia Leavy **Goddess Fish Promotions** *Blurb Blitz*

Welcome to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today, we'll be featuring Film Blue, by Author Patricia Leavy. You can find all the stops on Patricia's tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. The author is giving away a $10 gift card via Rafflecopter to one lucky winner. You can find the entry form at the bottom of this post.

Reminiscent of Sex and the City meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Patricia Leavy’s Film Blue is a captivating and inspiring story about the pursuit of dreams and what it truly means to live a “big” life.

A couple of years after finishing college, Tash Daniels has put her love of filmmaking on the back burner. She’s working retail, club-hopping, and scraping by to pay the rent. Usually attracted to the wrong guy, she’s at a loss when she finally falls for the right one. Sexy deejay Aidan is living his life authentically as an artist and encourages her to do the same. Will she open her heart? Will she bet on herself and her dreams? Is a girl with a dream truly on her own in the world? Tash’s friends are along for the journey: Jason Woo, lighthearted model on the rise; Penelope Waters, earnest graduate student with a secret no one suspects; Lu K, fiercely independent hot-girl deejay; and Monroe Preston, the glamorous wife of a Hollywood studio head.

Frequently bathed in the glow of the silver screen, the characters show us how the arts can reignite the light within, pushing us to confront our fears so we can choose how to live in the present. Film Blue is a novel about following our passions, the hidden side of our dreams, the power of art, what it means to truly live a “big” life, and finding the people to go with us on our journey.

A tribute to 1980s pop culture set against the backdrop of contemporary New York and Los Angeles, Film Blue celebrates how the art we experience and make can shape our stories, frame by frame.

Available on Amazon
Also available in Paperback

Monroe slipped on her favorite gray silk nightgown and matching robe, and tied the sash around her waist. She opened her nightstand drawer and retrieved the unopened prescription bottle. Sitting on the edge of her bed and rolling the bottle in her hand, it occurred to her that she felt no emotion whatsoever. No sadness, or despair, or grief held her hand. Exhaustion was her only companion. She was done. After moving the bottle from one hand to the other, over and over again, she tucked it into her pocket. She got up and wandered through her house until she found Bill in his office, hunched over the desk.

“It’s so late, darling. Why don’t you come to bed?” she asked.

“I’ll be there soon enough. I have to get through these papers first,” he replied, gesturing to the stack on his desk.

“Good night, Bill. I love you. Truly, I do,” Monroe said, before gently shutting the door behind her.

She bumped into Henry on her way back to her bedroom.

“Good night, Henry,” she said softly.

“Good night, Mrs. Preston. Oh, I forgot to tell you that Miss Daniels left her short film here yesterday. She said you had asked to see it.”

“Oh, that’s right. I did promise her,” she mumbled to herself. Then she refocused on Henry. “Maybe I’ll watch it now. I know it’s late, but would you mind putting it on for me in the screening room?"

“Certainly, ma’am,” he replied.

Monroe settled into one of the raspberry-colored velvet seats in their lavish private screening room. Henry switched the lights off as the film began. Light from the screen flickered on Monroe’s face as the opening credits rolled. Shot in black and white, the camera zoomed in on two young people on a city rooftop in the middle of the night. They were laughing and running across the roof, bits of paper swept up in the breeze. A burst of hot pink leapt off the screen, followed by eruptions of turquoise and purple. Monroe leaned closer. The corners of her mouth trembled and a smile began to crawl across her face. She leaned closer and let the glow from the screen wash over her. Her smile morphed into laughter and tears flooded her eyes. As her smile grew and her laughter became louder, the tears flowed harder. Her face was drenched by the time the closing credits rolled. She sat, soaking in a feeling she couldn’t quite name, a feeling she knew was connected to life itself.

Henry returned and flipped the lights on. “Shall I close the room for you before I retire to bed?” he asked.

She wiped her face with her palms and turned to face him. “No. Henry, please get Bill right away. Tell him there’s something he must see.”

Patricia Leavy, Ph.D., is a bestselling author. She was formerly Associate Professor of Sociology, Chair of Sociology and Criminology, and Founding Director of Gender Studies at Stonehill College in Massachusetts. She has published over forty books, earning commercial and critical success in both fiction and nonfiction, and her work has been translated into many languages. Patricia has received dozens of accolades for her books.

Recently, her romance collection Celestial Bodies: The Tess Lee and Jack Miller Novels was the 2022 Firebird Awards first-place winner for Romance. The book also received 2022 International Impact Book Awards for Women’s Fiction and Romance, a 2022 NYC Big Book Award for Distinguished Favorite Anthology, and a 2022 Literary Titan Gold Book Award for Fiction. Patricia has also received career awards from the New England Sociological Association, the American Creativity Association, the American Educational Research Association, the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry, and the National Art Education Association.

In 2016 Mogul, a global women’s empowerment network, named her an “Influencer.” In 2018, she was honored by the National Women’s Hall of Fame and SUNY-New Paltz established the “Patricia Leavy Award for Art and Social Justice.” She lives in Maine with her husband, daughter (when she’s not away at college), and her dog. Patricia loves writing, reading, watching films, and traveling.

Patricia Leavy will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come back again soon.


Thursday, October 27, 2022

THE GUARDIAN by Author Jen Colly **Goddess Fish Tour** **Blurb Blitz**

Welcome to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today we're featuring The Guardian, Book 5 of the series, The Cities Below, by author Jen Colly. You can find all the stops on this tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter giveway for your chance to win a $30 gift card. The entry form is at the bottom of this post.

Prepared to die...fighting to live.

Savard was in a mood to die, but when a human insists on saving his life, death is no longer an immediate option. He knew of no species – human, vampire, or demon – that could see him while in his invisible Spirit form. Unique to this world, this woman's singularity was a danger to the entire vampire race.

Waking behind bars in an underground vampire city was not how Sera envisioned her night drive ending. She has come to expect nothing from those who pass through her life, but this man, dying on the side of the road, proves to be different. Savard fights to free her from tyrannical vampire laws and to hide her unique abilities. What Sera doesn't understand, is why he would fight his growing love for her.

Savard's haunted past threatens to tear them apart. Soon, Sera discovers just how far her guardian is willing to go, and what he's willing to do, to keep her safe.

Find The Guardian on Your Favorite Platform

Savard watched her delicate jaw drop at the sight of his fangs. Never in his long life had he shown a human what kind of creature lurked behind the visage of a man. He waited for her scream, expected her terrified flight or even a fainting spell. Instead of acting like a normal human, she just sat there, taking it all in, processing, and then out of the blue, the minx slugged him in the shoulder.

He groaned, not so much from her punch, but from stabilizing his core muscles to keep his body upright. Through gritted teeth, Savard asked, “What the hell was that for?”

“Give it a guess,” she huffed, not frightened, and certainly not shying away. “You can speak. Just say what you are. You didn’t need to threaten me with the pointy teeth.”

“Wasn’t a threat…won’t bite,” he mumbled. He knew he was behaving poorly, but his body ached, his hunger beat a heavy cadence against his tongue, and this woman had ruined his plans for a quick death.

His eyelids drifted shut, his head tilted back against the cushion. He was getting worse. The pain was there, but not exactly excruciating, making it easier to speak. His body was numbing out, going cold on the inside. Sensation was slipping away, along with life.

“If you’re what I think you are, then…” her soft voice trailed off, as if redirecting her question. “What can I do? Be honest.”

“Nothing you’d be willing to do,” Savard said, cracking one eye open to observe her reaction, and when she shifted closer, he suddenly realized she still held his hand. In fact, her grip had never wavered. Even after he’d bared his fangs.

“Like letting you bite me? How can you be sure I wouldn’t?”

“I’m not asking.”

“But if it would help you…” Her delicate eyebrows scrunched together, and she asked in earnest, “Would it help you? And would it hurt?”

His lips twitched, the beginnings of a smile that never fully formed. For some reason, he found explaining the nuances of a vampire’s bite to this innocent human amusing. “Blood heals. A bite is more pleasure than pain.”

“I wouldn’t turn into a…”


“When you bite someone…” Her voice was hesitant, the first subtle hint of trepidation he’d found in her. “Do they die?”

“No. Life is precious,” he said quietly.

Deafening silence surrounded him and he closed his eyes again, the calm lulling him. Several minutes passed, or perhaps more, and then he unexpectedly caught her scent. The soft, delicate flesh of this woman had a scent all its own, and he opened his eyes to see her leaning close to him, her hand pulling that fluffy white-blonde mass of randomly braided hair away from her neck. Savard growled, closing his eyes against the temptation, and turned away from her.

“Why not?” she asked, her steady voice sending shivers through his battered body.

Teeth clenched, he said, “You should have left me there.”

Jen Colly is the rare case of an author who rebelled against reading assignments throughout her school years. Now she prefers reading books in a series, which has led her to writing her first paranormal romance series: The Cities Below. She will write about anything that catches her fancy, though truth be told, her weaknesses are pirates and vampires. She lives in Ohio with her supportive husband, two kids, one fluffy dog, and four rescued cats.

Jen Colly will be awarding a $30 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thank you so much for stopping by.


Friday, September 30, 2022

STAR OF WONDER by Author Charlotte Hubbard (An Amish Christmas Star Anthology) **Goddess Fish**

Welcome to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today we'll be featuring Author Charlotte Hubbard and her book, Star of Wonder, part of the anthology, An Amish Christmas Star. You can find all of the stops on Charlotte's tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Don't forget to enter the giveaway for an Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. The entry form is at the bottom of this feature post.

About the Anthology . . .

The crisp fragrance of pine trees and the warm spice of fresh cookies aren’t the only blessings that Christmas brings, and no one knows more about happy homecomings than three couples who are celebrating the greatest gift of all . . .

About Star of Wonder . . .

When Raymond Overholt comes to Promise Lodge, hoping to sell the barnboard signs he’s painted with stars and Christmas messages, spirited young Mennonite Lizzie Zehr is intrigued. But any courtship between them will face fierce opposition from the bishop of Raymond’s Old Order community—unless someone can convince him that at the heart of faith lies love . . .

With the girl’s laughter still dancing in his head, Raymond Overholt tried to refocus his thoughts. If he didn’t convince Mr. Kraybill to sell his handmade plaques, his past several weeks of work would be for nothing. He’d have to return home to Coldstream with his tail between his legs, and face a long, dreary lifetime of milking his dat’s cows. Running a dairy was honest, necessary work but Raymond didn’t enjoy spending his early mornings and late afternoons in a smelly barn disinfecting udders any more than the Holsteins liked having him around. Worse yet, if he overslept, his older brothers did the milking and left the hosing down and mucking out of the stalls for him.

“If your customers like these plaques, I can make more,” he assured the steely-haired storekeeper. “I—I really appreciate having the chance to sell them here in your new store. Our bulk market in Coldstream is dim and overcrowded with merchandise, and even if the owner there had display space, he wants nothing to do with artwork. It’s that Old Order thing.”

Mr. Kraybill smiled knowingly. “Jah, Amish stores don’t usually carry much that appears English even if they have a lot of customers come in from outside their community to shop,” he acknowledged. “But your plaques carry a solid Christmas message—‘Wise men still follow His star’ and the lyrics to ‘We Three Kings’ are meaningful reminders about following our Lord’s holy light. Thanksgiving always kicks off the Christmas buying season, so we’ll give it a shot, Raymond.”

He hoped his grateful grin didn’t appear too adolescent—or desperate. Raymond gazed around the store, where a gal in a pleated Amish kapp was stocking shelves in the rear. A few early shoppers were pushing carts into the grocery section. “If you need some extra hands when things get busy these next few weeks, I’d be happy to help, sir,” he offered. “I’ve not worked in a store, but I’m gut at tallying sums and I’m a quick learner.”

“I’ll keep it in mind,” Kraybill said with a nod.

Raymond heard probably not in the storekeeper’s words, but he’d dealt with people’s dismissals before. If he’d dressed in dark broadfall pants with a plain shirt and suspenders—and if he’d chosen glasses with conservative frames—Kraybill might’ve taken him more seriously. But until he had no other choice than to submit to Old Order ways and join the church, Raymond was determined to wear clothing he liked.

“I’ll be back in a few days to see how my signs are selling,” he said. “Denki for giving me a chance.”

In 1983, Charlotte Hubbard sold her first story to True Story. She wrote around 70 of those confession stories, and she’s sold more than 60 books to traditional or online publishers. A longtime resident of Missouri, she’s currently writing Amish romances set in imaginary Missouri towns for Kensington. She now lives in Omaha, NE with her husband of 40+ years and their Border collie, Vera.

Charlotte Hubbard will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thank you so much for stopping by. Please come back again soon.


Friday, July 29, 2022

RETURN TO WYLDER by Author Maria Imbalzano **Excerpt Tour** **Review**

Welcome to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today, we're featuring Return to Wylder, part of the Wylder West series from The Wild Rose Press. Author Maria Imblazano is here to share some insight into her new release. You can find all the stops on this tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter drawing for a chance to win an Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. The entry form is at the bottom of this feature.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

The untimely death of EJ Hampton’s father kills her dream of practicing law with him in her hometown of Wylder. Heartbroken, she now has two weeks to organize the practice for sale. When she meets her father’s millionaire client Dylan Addison, he is demanding and entitled—yet his charisma captivates her.

Dylan is under pressure to renovate the Wylder Hotel before his father pulls the plug on his project. He needs EJ’s expertise, but she is bent on returning to her life in San Francisco despite the fireworks between them.

EJ walks a tightrope trying to balance Dylan’s needs against her own, but doing so is far more complicated when emotions get in the way.

Find Return to Wylder at Amazon or Barnes and Noble
Also available in print

EJ took a sip of her beer. “It may take some time, but you’ll win him over. If you start coming here at least once a week. Even if it’s just to have a quick drink at the bar or a sandwich at lunchtime. Get to know him, as well as the customers.” She nodded toward the bar at the few-dozen townspeople who all seemed like best friends. “You need to do this with all the businesses around town. What have you been doing for the past five months?” Her brow scrunched as she waited for my sorry excuse.

I would have grinned in an attempt to soften her underlying admonishment, but she might have then assumed I wasn’t taking her advice seriously. I cleared my throat. “I have projects in Chicago that I’ve continued to work on. When I’m in town, I’ve been dealing with contractors, getting estimates. The usual.”

“At least you’re using local tradespeople for the hotel.”

She would know that since she’d reviewed the contracts.

“Was introducing me to Chad your sole purpose in asking me to meet you here?” I had hoped it was because she was as intrigued with me as I was with her. The heat in her eyes when I stroked her palm last night couldn’t have been an illusion.

“Not my sole purpose.” Her sly smile gave me hope. “The Spring Festival is in nine days. You may have seen the signs around town.”

All hope was dashed with this turn in the conversation. I had seen the signs, but it wasn’t something I put in my calendar. Although perhaps I should, to assure I wouldn’t get stuck in traffic if I wanted to get out of town that day. “And?” There had to be more.

“The town’s budget is tight this year, and they can’t afford fireworks. That’s a big draw, so disappointment is running high. There are a few other things that need funding.” She opened her purse and withdrew a folded piece of paper. “My mom is co-chair of the event, and these are their current needs.”

I took the paper and scanned a host of sponsorship opportunities along with the estimated cost next to each. The most expensive by far was the fireworks. I searched her face. “Are you asking me for a donation? I can certainly write a check to contribute.”

“Does your father’s company support community festivities?”

Oh, so this was where she was going.

5 Stars

I'm a big fan of small town western romances, and I've especially enjoyed the variety of the Wylder series. So, when a review tour came up for Maria Imbalzano's new book, Return to Wylder, I knew I had to sign up.
I was immediately drawn to the heroine's dilemma of choice. I felt her sadness at her loss. The last thing she need, professionally at least, was an overbearing and entitled client. However, Dylan was such a delight right from the beginning, I couldn't even be angry with him for his privileged attitude. And, of course, the more I got to know him, the more I understood his personality.

EJ and Dylan were perfect foils for one another right from the get-go and it was very enjoyable to watch their relationship progress with just the right amount of steam thrown in for good measure.

I highly recommend this new addition to the Wylder series.

Maria Imbalzano is an award-winning contemporary author who writes about strong, independent women and the men who fall in love with them. She recently retired from the practice of law, but legal issues have a way of showing up in many of her novels. When not writing, she loves to travel both abroad and in the states. Maria lives in central New Jersey with her husband--not far from her two daughters and granddaughters.

Maria Imbalzano will be awarding a $15 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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Thank you for stopping by. I hope to see you again soon.


Wednesday, July 27, 2022

LOVING BETWEEN THE LINES By Author Brenda Margriet

Welcome to Notes From a Romantic's Heart. Today we're featuring author Brenda Margriet and her new release, Loving Between the Lines. A contemporary, seasoned romance, this is the second book in her Silverberry Seduction series, but can be read as a standalone novel.

A one-night stand neither will forget.
She wanted a final fling before choosing science to make her a single mom. He needed an escape from the regret grinding him into dust. Her baby isn’t his…but maybe family is more than DNA.

After a childhood being dragged around the continent by her musician parents, Lynn Kolmyn has stretched her roots deep into her chosen hometown. When her absconding fiancé screws up her careful plans, she decides to become a mother at almost forty, realizing the only person she can rely on is herself.

Benjamin Whitestone was the hometown hockey hero until a spectacular mistake led to failure and condemnation. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t seem to make it up to his parents, his teammates, or his fans. In a final bid to prove himself, he accepts a job coaching the junior team where he used to be a star, determined to rewrite history.

When Lynn and Benjamin collide—literally—they are both shocked to see the stranger from a single sensual night two years ago. Now the past tangles with the future…a future neither of them was expecting.

Purchased a copy from these eBook Retailers
Also available in print.

Benjamin Whitestone stepped into the concourse of the arena, closing the door to the Canyon Cats team offices behind him, and leaned against the red-painted brick wall. Pressing his fingertips into the rough surface, he closed his eyes and breathed deeply.

When Peterson Brewster had summoned him to his office that morning, he hadn’t been able to suppress the guilty feeling he’d done something wrong. He’d only been head coach of the Canyon Cats for two weeks, and logic dictated he had no reason to worry—yet—that his performance had been judged subpar already.

Logic never stopped him from worrying before, and it hadn’t then, either.

Turned out Brewster had just wanted to welcome him formally to the organization. He’d met the very involved owner during the hiring process but he’d been out of town since Benjamin’s return to Prince George. Now the meeting was over he could concentrate on his next challenge—his first official practice. Training camp had just ended and the roster set. The hardest work was about to begin.

Taking one last deep breath, he pushed off the wall and strode toward the stairs leading down to ice level. As he reached the door to the arena administration offices, it swung open. He dodged to avoid being struck by the heavy metal panel and a woman with her arms full of child stumbled into him.

“Careful now.” He gripped her shoulders to steady her. Two black bags draped off her shoulders and the sharp corner of one thudded against his thigh as she spun around.

“Sorry.” She shifted the baby to her other hip and gave Benjamin a quick, harried glance before focusing once more on the squirming, squawking child. He’d had little exposure to children, but given the length of the legs kicking at her thighs and the arms flailing about her head, this was no newborn. Other than that, he had no clue. “I didn’t meant to open the door so suddenly. I hope I didn’t hit you.”

That voice. Husky and low, it evoked a sudden memory of subdued lighting, sultry jazz, and smoky whiskey.

His fingers tightened on her shoulders, the bones rounded and firm under his palms. “Lynn?”

Her chin lifted and their eyes met. For a moment her expression remained blank, and then she blinked.

“Benjamin?” She twisted out of his hold and his hands dropped. He curled his fingers into fists, holding onto the tingling sensation touching her had evoked. The baby continue to wriggle and wail and she bounced and jiggled in the age-old way of mothers everywhere. “What are you doing here?”

He could only stare. He’d thought of Lynn more often than a one-night stand deserved. Especially a one-night stand that had occurred two years ago. Of course, it had also been the day after his father’s funeral. Maybe the pain of that time—and the comfort she’d given him—was why she’d stuck in his mind more than any woman he’d slept with—before or since.

She asked you a question. Answer, you dummy. “I’m the new head coach. Of the Canyon Cats.”

Her eyes widened. “You’re Benjamin Whitestone?”

Brenda Margriet writes savvy, slow burn, contemporary romances with ordinarily amazing characters. In her own ordinarily amazing life, she had a successful career in radio and television production before deciding to pilfer from her retirement plan to support her writing compulsion.

Readers have called her stories "poignant," "explicit and steamy," "interesting, intriguing and entertaining," and "unlike any romance you’ve read before" (she assumes the latter was meant in a good way).

Brenda lives in northern British Columbia with her husband, various finny and furry pets, and has three grown children.

Sign Up for Brenda's Newsletter

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Thank you so much for stopping by today. And, thanks to Brenda for sharing her newest release with us. See you again soon!


Monday, July 25, 2022

EMPERATOR by Author Miriam Newman **Review**

Welcome to Notes From a Romantic’s Heart. Today we are featuring author Miriam Newman and her historical fantasy romance, The Emperator. You can find all stops on this tour at Goddess Fish Promotions. Don’t forget to enter the Rafflecopter drawing for an Amazon gift card. The entry form is at the bottom of this post.

GENRE: Historical Fantasy Romance

Son of a king, grandson of a general, Sergius is a warrior without equal. It has been easy for him to be a hero when he was expected to be. When he finds himself fighting to free his grandfather's country and the heart of a woman, he must be one because he is.

Available at Amazon and other ebook Retailers

The walls of the city were so dark, so immense, they stood out against the moonlit sky.

“How do you get over that?” he asked the commander who had issued the order to burn bodies.

“You don’t,” that one said, flashing him a smile in the dark. Sergius could see it by the light of hundreds of torches they had lit not only for themselves, but also for the Domidians. An intimidating display suggesting great numbers of troops was a mental game.

“You burn them,” the other man said.

Heavy horses kept for the purpose had dragged up land-borne versions of the hurlers Havacians traditionally used at sea. Like those, they had been fitted with flaming balls of pitch heated over immense bonfires. Omana had no shortage of wood and scores of teams had been busily hauling it from all over territory they now occupied, to feed the fires that would burn Xanthus. Even as he watched, the first fireballs flew.

“You’ll burn down the whole city!” Sergius protested.

“Yes,” his commander admitted. “People are going to die in there.”

It was a sound battle tactic, keeping his troops from being targeted by those on the walls, but directly contravened their orders to spare Omanis. Sergius’s entire mission would be jeopardized before he even had time to begin.

“If you burn their city, they will never work with us! King Yuri’s order was to spare them, not just their sheep.”

The commander shrugged. “My orders were to keep my men alive.”

It was a complete failure of imagination. Sergius felt his temper hit the top of his skull.

Believe it and make them believe it.

“You are relieved of your command,” he said.

The other man looked at him as if he had lost his mind. “On whose authority?”

“Mine,” Sergius said. “I am Sergius Magistri, cousin to King Yuri, and you are relieved.”

The commander hesitated.

“NOW!” Sergius bellowed. He beckoned imperiously to two Havacian troopers on either side of the commander. “Take him.”

Not waiting to see if they had obeyed, he spun his horse in a deliberate move he had learned from his father, forking him with one spur, making Arrow rear. It gave better visibility.

“Omanis!” he screamed. “Follow me or your people die.”

4.0 Stars

The Emperator by author Miriam Newman is a well written historical fantasy novel. The two main characters aren’t perfect, but they are well-rounded and their development throughout the story is even and consistent.

The atmosphere suits the story very well, the battles are well thought out and add a colorful layer to the overall story. The last chapter brought everything to a satisfying conclusion. The Emperator is a highly recommended read.

Fantasy poetry driven by myths and legends has been my passion for as long as I can remember. I was published in poetry before catching the romance writing bug. I bring that background to my writing along with a lifelong addiction to horses, an 18 year career in various areas of psychiatric social services and many trips to Ireland, where I nurture my muse. My published works range from contemporary fantasy romance to fantasy historical, futuristic, science fiction and historical romance. Currently I live in rural Pennsylvania with a “motley crew” of rescue animals.

Miriam Newman will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

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